Veganlicious Soup Options in Vancouver’s Lower Mainland is Plentiful

For the last three weeks I have been participating in a vegan challenge and it has been a mighty fine journey. I must confess that I did have one slip up just 3 days in. I confessed to my challenger. He displayed disbelief and disappointment of my news – I felt like a gigantic fricken loser! After that naughty episode, I got back on the program instead of just throwing in the towel. I was determined to do it!

At first I thought it was going to be very difficult to find good vegan grub in Vancouver and the lower mainland, but after being a week and half into my challenge, I was overwhelmed by the options – and plentiful indeed!

The Outcome?
Over the last few weeks I felt super great and realized that I was treating my body well with this diet choice. I am considering becoming a vegan close to full-time (well…minus 2-3 days per month. I do love having an egg and prosciutto once in a while as well as butter on my hot air popcorn!). Read more on veganism here.

Below are vegan soups that I want to share with you that are from my favorite vegan friendly spots to date in Vancouver/ Lower Mainland:

Paradise Vegetarian Noodle House
http://www.paradisevegetarian.com/
8681 10th Avenue, Burnaby, BC

I had their #12 Soup: Veggie Chicken Rice Noodle Soup (Pho Ga)

The Verdict of Paradise Vegetarian Noodle House Veggie Chicken Rice Noodle Soup
Refreshing sunshine on a grey day for me! I was astonished how the slices of veggie chicken had the texture like any juicy meat basting in a fine broth. The soup was served with sprouts and lemon on the side, which soon joined the party in my bowl. The broth seemed very flavorful and hint of a creamy broth. I’d love to find out how they make their broth and try to recreate it at home.

I am sure that I will visit this place frequently on the way home from work. I was surprised that it was so close to home and that I walked by it many times when shopping at Choices. A nice spot indeed with a humble and cute atmosphere. The lady who served me was so passionate about the food and even gave me a recipe book on organic vegan cooking! So sweet!

I also tried the vegetarian ham and the vegetarian chicken….very nice tasting nuggets dipped in a sweet chile sauce….pass a napkin please!

Soup Mistress Rating For Veggie Chicken Rice Noodle Soup:

Healthy (+ slimming + low sodium): (4.5/5)
Presentation: (4/5)
Taste: (4.5/5)

Nuba, Healthy Fresh Lebanese
http://www.nuba.ca/
1489 East Hastings Street, Vancouver, BC

I had their vegan soup of the day, it was a Roasted Tomato Soup.

The Verdict of Nubas Roasted Tomato Soup
Wow and wow. The soup was very yummy. It also looked and tasted creamy to me. But what was the cream if it was the vegan soup of the day? I asked the server what was in the soup and was totally surprised that it was not a complex soup what-so-ever. I expected some magical spices or additional ingredients as well as some vegan cream-like ingredient. He mentioned that it did not have any cream and it was the powerful food processor that made the soup so fluffy and creamy. Also the soup just had bay leave and thyme – that’s it!

KISS – Keep it simple soup! It must have been the good quality tomatoes or the particular technique of roasting that delighted my taste buds!

Soup Mistress Rating For Nubas Roasted Tomato Soup:

Healthy (+ slimming + low sodium): (4.5/5)
Presentation: (3.5/5)
Taste: (4.5/5)

Bandidas
http://bandidastaqueria.com/
2781 Commercial Drive, Vancouver, BC

I had a small bowl of their Tortilla Soup. It was made of roasted tomatoes in a rich vegetable stock.

The Verdict of Bandidas Tortilla Soup.

The soup was very nice, chunky and thick. The base was pretty tasty and who doesn’t like avacados? I do think it could have used some corn and the chips were a tad too salty for my liking. Something that was not stated on their website is that they have vegan cheese and vegan sour cream. I was going to opt out of the cheese, but when I read the vegan options on their printed menu I was delighted!

Although the soup receives a decent review from myself, the superstar dish was their tacos. You must have the tacos with your soup or just stay home in your jammies!

I had the following 3 tacos, they were killer and very unique:

  1. Bobcat – Roasted potatoes, caramelized onions, purple cabbage pinto beans, cheese, sour cream, & roasted salsa
  2. Stella – Kale, butternut squash, roasted salsa, pinto beans, cheese, & sour cream.
  3. Ronny Russel – Roasted yams and onions, fresh guacamole, black beans, green salsa, purple cabbage & toasted pumpkin seeds.

 

 

Soup Mistress Rating For Bandidas Tortilla Soup:

Healthy (+ slimming + low sodium): (4/5)
Presentation: (3/5)
Taste: (3.5/5) 

Monta Japanese Noodle House in Vegas – Chashu On Center Stage

Last week I was in Vegas and had a mighty fine lunch at Monta Ramen (www.montaramen.com), a small Japanese Noodle House seating less than 40 people away from the strip.

Monta’s various noodle soups are Kurume-style ramen which have broths made from selected pork bones and a unique soy sauce imported from Japan. All of their ramens have slices of Chashu (roasted pork that melts in your mouth and to die for!).

I had the Tonkotsu Ramen and ordered Nitamago (seasoned hard boiled egg) and shredded green onions as toppings:

Tonkotsu (“pork bone”) Ramen has a cloudy white colored broth. It is similar to the Chinese baitang and has a thick broth made from boiling pork bones, fat and collagen over high heat for many hours, which suffuses the broth with a heavy pork flavor and a creamy consistency that rivals milk or melted butter or gravy.

And Graeme, who was sweet enough to share one of his favorite eating spots and treated me to lunch had the Miso Ramen with Nitamago (seasoned hard boiled egg) and corn as his toppings:

Miso (“bean paste”) Ramen is a relative newcomer, having reached Japan’s national prominence around 1965. This uniquely Japanese ramen, which was developed in Hokkaido, features a broth that combines copious amounts of miso and is blended with oily pork broth to create a thick, nutty, slightly sweet and very hearty soup.

The Verdict of Tonkotsu Ramen and Miso Ramen?
I was very impressed with this little noodle house! I had the opportunity to taste both ramens and they were very unique and had very distinct different broths. We both enhanced our ramens with a dollop of minced garlic and some hot sauce –  a great choice.  As for the Miso Ramen, it did have a very nutty taste and the broth seemed to have more depth than my Tonkotsu Ramen. I don’t think either Ramen is better than the other but Graeme may disagree with me – I don’t think he will cheat on his Miso Ramen what-so-ever. My Tonkotsu Ramen had a creamy buttery taste – a yummy guilty pleasure for myself.

Next time I would love to add the corn and some bean sprouts to the Tonkotsu Ramen. I really liked how the corn played well in the Miso Ramen. I would also order extra slices of Chashu in my ramen – I think it is the superstar of the dish and should be on center stage!

Oh, ya….I LOVED the eggs. Monta has perfected the soft boiled egg indeed!!

Tip: Make sure you come hungry and try Monta’s handmade pan-fried pork and vegetable dumplings with your ramen. Just order them as soon as you arrive – they are made to order. They are delish and highly recommended by Graeme!

 

 

 

 

Soup Mistress Rating for Tonkotsu Ramen and Miso Ramen:

Healthy (+ slimming + low sodium): (3/5)
Presentation: (4.5/5)
Taste: (5/5)